At What Point Should We Start To Get Really Worried About This?

by Prince Of Petworth November 4, 2010 at 10:02 pm 27 Comments

Last we heard the park had been closed due to lead contamination in Sept. At the point we were told that the area should be “abated within 30 days or so”. Well now, this red tape has gone on up and I’ve started holding breath when I walk past it. Anyone starting to get slightly more than moderately concerned…?

  • Hold Your Horses

    Its most likely in the soil. Besides, it takes a ton of lead and a long time to hurt adults.

    • Just J

      Second that. Lead is only a major concern for children unless its in really large doses.

      • TaylorStreetMan

        its. a. playground.
        lots of little kiddies running around, not just adults.

        • Hold Your Horses

          Good job figuring that out. Let me quote the actual question and context: “I’ve started holding breath when I walk past it. Anyone starting to get slightly more than moderately concerned…?”

          Now do you get it?

          • TaylorStreetMan

            So, Snotty: the fact that the original question doesn’t even touch on the fact that this is a place of play for children doesn’t bother you?

            Seems to me that the first concern in a playground with lead contamination should be for the kids who spend a lot of time there (presumably), not the adults who randomly pass by.

            This is what I was responding to. Now do YOU get it? F-er.

          • Hold Your Horses

            Way to discuss a question that wasnt asked and then get high and mighty because other people arent discussing the question that wasnt asked.

            Obviously everyone understands that a playground shouldnt have lead.

            I was responding to PoP’s perfectly understandable question if it posed a risk with casual contact, specifically by adults.

            The answer is no.

            No point in having a fight about a question that wasnt asked, that everyone agrees about the answer.

            In other news, I’m pissed at PoP for not discussing the decrepit state of the building behind the playground. There’s a boarded up window – can we talk about how this is an eyesore?

          • dreas

            Are you kidding? The building behind the playground with the boarded up window is the source of the lead contamination.

    • Jamie

      There’s soil in that park?

      This is kind of ridiculous. The original “hazard” was from paint dust blowing off a renovation nearby. Never minding the fact that 99% of it landed somewhere that’s not a concrete park, and represents much more of a threat, a couple rainstorms later the hazard was almost certainly long gone.

      • Hold Your Horses

        Good points. Though, they may have done several testings since and found that the water drained to certain areas, the water was standing and dried, and created even higher concentrations in some places.

        • Hold Your Horses

          Or the tests showed that there were high levels for other reasons.

          Just saying, I doubt they’d go through this if the tests came back normal.

  • Anonymous

    Workers in hazard suits were in there last week removing leaves and debris. Perhaps that kicks up more lead dust? Anyway, I haven’t seen any workers this week so maybe that’s a good sign. Last I heard the park is still slated for renovation once lead abatement is complete. But there’s no telling how lengthy that process will be.

  • jellyroll

    i was wondering if maybe they put the lead signs up to try to scare away the men who hang out there all day.

    they still hang out, on all sides of that fence.

    i saw those workers in biohazard suits last week. tape is still up though. welcome to DC!! ha!

    • Hold Your Horses

      I doubt they are BIOHAZARD suits. Geez.

  • From what I understand, the large-scale renovation of the park is scheduled to begin in January, with the park ready to open in the Spring. Should be dramatically improved. Seems to make sense to combine this all together, since the park will have to be basically ripped apart as part of the renovation, might as well do the abatement simultaneously, or so you’d think? IN all events, this won’t be open for use again until the good weather, but if all goes according to plan, it should be WELL worth the wait. So glad this park is finally getting city attention. Now once it’s complete the key is to make sure it is being utilized in a law-abiding fashion (aka, no public drinking, drugs, or fighting).

    • WDC

      I had hopes, too, but seeing that the bums just moved from inside to outside the fence, no longer. Five bucks says with one week of the grand re-opening, whenever it happens, it will be littered with empties and butts.

  • fivepercentyak

    I drive by there almost every day. A few times since the tape went up Ive seen guys in coveralls and masks appear to be scooping up leaves and loose dirt into a dumpster. Its interesting that the guys who hand out there all day and play cards or checkers or whatever now just hang out outside the gates on the sidewalk. For their sake, hopefully this gets cleaned up sooner rather than later. I dont know that I have ever seen kids on the playground, just older guys at the tables and benches.

  • 11th

    i don’t think it’s enough to worry about for adults walking by. i think the fear is that it’s not safe for kids playing on the actual equipment. worth asking about, though.

  • Nuke the site from orbit….it’s the only way to be sure…

  • Anonymous

    It’s important that kids not eat lead, so makes sense to clean up the soil & keep the park closed, but lead is not uranium. no cause for panic. Lead is unfairly maligned – I work with lead paint everyday with no problems. People are scared of the wrong things …

    The playground equipment was probably made in China and who knows what the heck is in it! probably scarier stuff than lead ….

  • 11th

    and i’d add that i don’t think the park being closed has anything to do with the folks who usually hang out there.

  • That equipment will fortunately be gone. As will the disgusting rubber surface and most of the high concrete walls surrounding the park. The new play equipment, at least based on the plans to date, should be worlds better. The hope is that a clean, attractive, sanitary, functional park that is more visible from the surrounding streets will attract a lot more parents and kids, and a lot less criminal activity. We will see.

  • I’m more concerned about the drug deals that go on in that park rather than lead.

    • TaylorStreetMan

      what if they’re selling dime bags of lead? :-)

  • Anon

    I figured it some pissed off neighbor put it up to keep the drunks out. It hadn’t quite occurred to me that it’s for real.

  • 11th

    again, not related to the guys who hang in the park (most of whom are not drunks or bums, btw). the park is closed because on august 20 the construction being done on 3511 13th nw sent out a plume of nasty stuff through an unsealed window on the east side of the building. some of that settled in the park. there was a cease and desist order issued on the following monday (the 23rd). ddoe was doing lead testing that week in the neighborhood and reported to the area churches, other places. i don’t know why there is a delay in reopening the park but am calling ddoe to see what’s up.

  • do kids even play in this park? only people i’ve ever seen in there are drunk adults.


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